July 14, 2010

Rising Share of Women Have No Children

18%

Nearly one-in-five women in the 40-44 age range are childless, up from 10% in 1976.

Significantly more American women are now ending their childbearing years without having borne a child than was the case 30 years ago. In 2008, 1.9 million women ages 40-44 were childless, compared with nearly 580,000 in 1976. This works out to roughly one-in-five childless women (18%) ages 40-44 today, up from just 10% in the 1970s. The most educated women still are among the most likely never to have had a child, but as a notable exception to the trend, women with advanced degrees are less likely to be childless in 2008 (24%) than in 1994 (31%). Similarly, women who have never married are most likely to be childless, but their rates have declined over the past decade. White women are most likely not to have borne a child. But over the past decade, childless rates have risen more rapidly for black, Hispanic and Asian women, so the racial gap has narrowed. Read More